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Ryland’s Story: 6-Year-Old Happy Trans Boy Will Show You What Love Is

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on May 29, 2014

We’ve come a long way with respect to acceptance, tolerance and recognition of the LGBT community in this country. We’ve made great strides. LGBT rights is no longer something only fought for by niche activists.

But often times we’re simply talking about L and G and B. Transgender issues are still first coming to the fore. Times have clearly changed for gay men and lesbians and bisexuals, but the times they are-a first changing now for the transgender community. Remember, the Grantland Dr. V controversy, in which it felt like almost nobody in the media or the nation knew how to properly deal with the issue, happened just *this year* … in January 2014.

It’s getting better, though. Hedwig is killing it with mainstream audiences on Broadway. Frat boys are doing trans-related Kickstarters. The incomparably gorgeous (inside and out) Laverne Cox is on this month’s cover of TIME.

It feels strange to say this in 2014, still, but there needs to be much more education and awareness on trans issues. Cox is doing her part. Janet Mock is doing her part. Many others are doing their parts, albeit more anonymously, in the trenches. But the fight for rights and acceptance begins with these two concepts — education and awareness — and perhaps the story of six-year-old Ryland Whittington will go a long way towards this goal.

The Whittingtons shared their story at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast in San Diego last week, and it is quite a story. From the San Diego Pride Facebook page, take seven minutes and watch this. Then share this. Let Ryland’s story be one that crosses all lines and boundaries and shows what love and family and support is like. What a family. Speechless.

Minor quibble: Just had to go for the Jeff Buckley “Hallelujah,” eh?

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